Archive | July 2016

Not My Grandfather’s Party

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My grandfather was a dapper gentleman who wore a suit to work complete with pocket protector, and it mattered not he was a committeeman at the old Dodge Main Plant in Detroit, nothing but a suit would do. In a younger day, he moonlighted at Detroit Arthur Murray Dance Center teaching ballroom dancing to immigrants with two left feet, and he could take shorthand at a proficient rate because he said it kept him mentally alert. During the 13 year confinement of James R. Hoffa, President of International Brotherhood of Teamsters, my grandfather became his pen pal truly believing he had been imprisoned falsely, and was rewarded by a visit from Mr. Hoffa after his release.  Most of all, I remember my grandfather being a dyed in the wool Democrat who spoke of Governor George W. Romney (1963-1969) like he was a family friend, and actively campaigned for the Humphrey/Muskie campaign in 1968.

These days, I look around at the Democratic Party that my grandfather held so close to his heart, and I cannot help but wonder if the current Democratic Party and the Democratic Party my grandfather so loved are one and the same?  That party my grandfather loved was a party for laborers, immigrants, blue collar workers, factory workers toiling in subhuman conditions for minimum wage, citizens who had been irrevocably damaged by the McCarthy Blacklist, persons without a voice falsely accused of crimes which they had not committed, and persons living without civil liberties as provided in the Constitution. Persons much like himself; the little people without political clout or great economic means.

It’s hard to say what happened to that party, but it appears to have died with Harry S. Truman. The Democratic Party of today supports radical groups that have made it a mission to kill police officers while refusing to support the Veterans, but is more than happy to increase the national debt through useless program spending and green energy and global warming initiatives. It is a Party for the elite who obviate, inveigle, and manipulate the Constitution to fit their needs, and is rife with special interest groups that have nothing to do with the little people and those without a voice but has everything to do with personal agendas and fraud, abuse and mismanagement of the government’s role in society. I don’t know whose Party it is, but I know it’s not mine, and sure not my grandfather’s Party, at least, not the Party he loved.

trump-1266569__180Vote For The Party That Cares

Pets and the People They Love

My sister’s dog died, and the how or where makes little difference. In in dog years he was probably 110 years old, wheezed like a steam train, and if there was such a thing as a dog cane, he needed one. Just a homely lop-eared dog, but while he was among the ranks of the living, he was her dog, my brother-in-law’s dog, and when I went to visit he appeared to be my dog and camped out where I slept. Consequently, he was stepped on a lot, didn’t seem to mind too much, and followed me to the car slobbering and snorting every step of the way when it was time to go.

So I called sis to express my condolences, and through our tears I believe I heard my brother-in-law in the background talking about ‘there’s no joy left in Mudville’. It wasn’t even one of my dogs, because my needy hounds were napping in the front room on a Persian carpet, but the whole dead dog ordeal left me spent and wondering  about the pet thing. The thing is pets don’t know prejudice, race, religion, or creed, and wouldn’t care if you were Irish Catholic,  Black  Atheist, or anything between. They only know people, can somehow sense a good person from a bad person, but don’t care what kind of house you live in or even if you have a house, and aren’t interested in cars and wouldn’t know a clunker from a limo.  They cannot tell a CEO from a factory worker, and wouldn’t really care which you were as long as you put food in their bowl, supplied them with water, and threw dog bones at them every now and then.

Simply, it’s the perfect unselfish love, and we miss them the most when they’re  gone. You look at that empty dog food bowl on the floor, because you haven’t the heart to throw it away, and it damn near sucks all the joy out of Mudville.

Remembering 1863 (Black Lives Matter)

On 01 January 1863, with a single stroke of a pen, Republican President Abraham Lincoln UndergroundRailroadTunnelsCairo-280signed an Executive Order, The Emancipation Proclamation’, and forever changed the Federal and legal status of more than three million enslaved people in designated areas of the South from slave to free. However, the mere signing of a document cannot and does not alleviate people being held in slavery if they have nowhere to go.

Fortunately two factors were working simultaneously to assist those three million people in their pursuit; the Civil War was being fought on southern soil with regiments of Union Soldiers scouring the countryside with orders to assist runaway slaves, and  the establishment of ‘Camp Defiance’ at Cairo, Illinois, a very small town located at the southern tip of Illinois that aside from being a Union stronghold during the Civil War became the staging point for the Underground Railroad utilizing Union Troops, river barges, and the now defunct Illinois Central Railroad.

The operation was fairly simply, and completed in board daylight without much fanfare or protest. Slaves fleeing the South were picked up by Union Troops, and put aboard flat boats bound for Cairo where they were offloaded, and transferred to trains heading to Chicago. From there they could travel freely to Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota, or they could remain in Cairo if they so choose as it was a northern State, and many did thinking after the war they would return home or claim homestead land in Illinois that was being forecast.

This act of selfless courage to assist and assure the Black race endured has been forgotten over the years, but the undeniable truth is a white Republican President, white Union Soldiers, an early Illinois Railroad manned by predominately white workers, and a small Union Camp united to insure free slaves would indeed savor freedom. For this gift no payment or recompense was asked or expected. At that time, it was just the right thing to do, and the Union Soldiers, the Illinois Central Railroad, and ‘Camp Defiance’ were in the best position to accomplish the feat.

Although, it has been over a century since the Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865, and Operation Freedom was accomplished to aid runaway slaves, in June 1998, Cairo City workers unearthed storage bins under the sidewalk along the 600 block of Levee Street, the site of the old Illinois Central Railroad Depot. In doing  so, they unwittingly uncovered the platform of the Underground Railway that boldly operated in that location, yet as if struck down by a migrant thought, Blacks have organized themselves into a militia to tell us something known in 1863, ‘Black Lives Matter’. Here’s a novel thought. We already know. Our forefathers invented that gig.

trump-1266569__180Please vote for freedom.

Happy Birthday America

 The Dreams and the Dreamers:

Here’s to John Cabot, navigator and explorer, for being the first European since the Vikings to explore the mainland of North America, to King Henry VII who had the foresight to know there was something in that space, and to the brave Colonists who ventured to that space.constitution-1486010_960_720

To the Framers of the Constitution who were seeking a guideline, to Paul Revere who reported the time was nigh, and to Betsy Ross whose creation still flies high.

To the fearless pioneers who ventured forth to a place wild and free, to Chief Crazy Horse who thought the free should be free, to President Abraham Lincoln who said all men should be free, and to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who had a dream of everyone being free.

Here’s to Thomas Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla who wanted to light up the world, Robert Fulton who thought steam power was needed by the world, Alexander Graham Bell who gave the telephone to the world, and to Henry Ford who put the world on wheels.

Here’s to Orville and Wilbur Wright who thought man could fly, Colonel Charles A. Lindberg who knew that man could fly, Howard Hughes who flew things that shouldn’t fly, Ms. Amelia Earhart who thought women should fly, and to the gutsy astronauts who took one great step for mankind, and to the moon did fly.

Here’s to the countless immigrants who came through Ellis Island looking for a dream, the French sculptor who gave them a symbol of that dream, the valiant Veterans of World War II who unselfishly defended the dream, the Viet Nam Vets who toiled far too long,  and the selfless dedication of every educator of children.

So here’s to the dreamers one and all, who listened to magic and heeded the call. Let there always be dreamers to stand straight and tall, and let not the dream die if the dreamer should fall.

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We are a Nation created by dreams and dreamers. Our forefathers and founders gave us this day on 04 July 1776 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when they signed he Declaration of Independence, and declared: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. “ (Preamable to the Constitution 1776)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” (The Declaration of Independence 1776)